Manchester WSPU tea towel
This tea towel is based on a historical banner used by the Manchester branch of the Women's Social and Political Union, led by Emmeline Pankhurst. It was Pankhurst and five other women who first established the WSPU on 10 October 1903 at her home in Manchester in order to wage a militant campaign for women's suffrage, frustrated as they were with the cautious approach of the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies. Surviving banners like this from the time are extremely rare, and the original is now in the care of the People's History Museum, Manchester. Discovered in a charity shop where it had been for over ten years until it became a part of the museum’s collection earlier this year, it is recognised as one of the nation’s most important suffragette banners. The banner provided the backdrop for some of Emmeline Pankhurst’s most famous speeches, including a rally in Manchester’s Heaton Park on 19 July 1908, when she spoke to a crowd of 50,000 people. Embroidered with the legend “Manchester – First in the Fight”, it was a powerful reminder in its day of the fact that the suffragette movement began in Manchester.
£1 of every purchase of this tea towel will go towards the work by the People's History Museum to maintain the banner.